Wednesday, November 02, 2016

After The War


After The War was released back in 1989 by Dinamic Software and is (partly) a fantastic beat 'em up similar in style to Double Dragon 3. You are Jonathan Rogers, aka Jungle Rogers, and must assassinate Professor McJerin who is today's nutcase. Worryingly set in the near future during a post-apocalyptic Manhattan where you must kill all the bad dudes and escape to somewhere far nicer than this hellhole! Sounds easy, right?

The game is split into two parts, with the first being a scrolling beat 'em up and the second and scrolling shoot 'em up. Upon playing part one, the first thing that struck me were the graphics which look amazing with huge sprites, great use of colour, and good scrolling. I adore the backgrounds and found their artwork and design to be apt for the grungy scenario. Sound effects are very cool and made up of low-quality grunts and thumps with silly cries when somebody is killed. It is worth mentioning the awesome title theme which I think is superb and I do wonder if the enhanced hardware within the STe was used? However, this only highlights the lacking in-game background tune...

Controls are very easy to master and offer : a punch, a flying-kick, jumping, and a get-me-outta-here rollback. Also, the keyboard is needed to action another kick and a nut-crushing low punch, especially useful for the rapid dogs! Sadly, I found flipping between the two sets of controls an awkward killjoy, perhaps a keyboard-only option might better for some? Overall, this is a brilliant section of the game - i REALLY enjoyed it!!

Part two is only playable once part one is complete and it sees our musclebound hero now equipped with a giant weapon as he heads off into the underground. Gamestyle is now a scrolling shooter where you need to blast everything that moves, even those pesky rats. The controls are a little weird yet again - now you are required to manually guide his directional shooting which is a strange, at first, and I expect many will prefer the keyboard again? There isn't much more to it and, if I'm honest, it should instead have remained a beat 'em up throughout.

After The War is basically two separate games, one I love and one I didn't. The beat 'em up stages are incredibly enjoyable and bucket loads of ass-kicking fun, even with the dodgy controls. However, part two did little for me and I know the Atari ST has far better titles in its catalogue. So, for the beat 'em up section, I strongly recommend you take a couple of hours to play because it's downright good ol' honest arcade action!! But I'd ignore the following stage...

LINKS

 - Old Games Finder has all the floppy disk versions you could ever desire!
 - What a fantastic loading screen - this is killer 16-Bit pixelart!!
 - Who fancies a couple of cheats?
          -> Fancy the code to part two : 101069 (tested and works)
          -> Infinite energy in part one, press keys : ALT, 1, B (untested)
          -> Infinite energy in part two, press keys : ALT, 1, M (untested)